An Open House Chicago tour of Somerset Place

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I’ve walked past the corner of Uptown’s Sheridan Road and Argyle Street a zillion times. You tend to notice 29,000-square-foot empty buildings. But in 2013, work began to convert the former nursing home into a 160-unit apartment building.  And while work continues, some units have already been inhabited, and the public was invited to tour Somerset Place during Open House Chicago on October 18 & 19.

The Good:

1. The Lobby.

It’s marbly and bright and huge. The horseshoe-shaped mailboxes can make even junk mail fun. Several seating areas give residents ample space to entertain guests they’d prefer not to have up in their apartments. The glass-walled gym just off the lobby is nice, but you’ll be working out in a fishbowl if anyone in the lobby feels like watching.

2. Transportation

Two blocks from the Red Line Argyle stop, and two blocks from the end of the 147 CTA bus route that runs express down Lake Shore Drive to the Magnificent Mile.

3. The kitchens

Even I could enjoy cooking — for the first couple months, at least — in the spacious kitchens of the large one-bedroom units.

4. The New

As this is a gut-rehab, everything inside is new. And looks it. Even the laundry rooms sparkle.

 

The Bad:

1. The Views

You’re on Sheridan and Argyle. No lake views, no skyline. Just Sheridan and Argyle. I suggest lots of artwork for the walls, so you don’t feel the need to look out the windows.

2. Parking

There’s a parking lot next to the building with about 12 spaces. One has a Handicapped Parking sign. Virtually everyone in this building who needs to park a car will be parking off-site. Take it from someone who street-parks in Uptown: that won’t be fun. The building has arranged a limited number of spots in a remote lot, but I don’t know how close to the building that lot is.

 3. The Cost

We toured the small one-bedroom and the large one-bedroom. The larger had the wonderful kitchen. The price is $1800/month. $1800 to live in Uptown, with no view of Lake Michigan? That seems far too steep to me.

 

 

 

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